You may be wondering why there are different variations of bicycle pedals. As cycling has evolved to encompass many different styles of riding, there also developed a need for pedals to suit these riding styles.
Consequently, pedals have been developed with a specific function in mind. For example, a road cyclist may desire clip less pedals to generate more power for racing. However, a free ride mountain biker may look for the freedom and versatility of platform pedals in order to perform complicated stunts.
The pedals found on most bikes are made from hard rubber or plastic. These pedals are light and durable enough for casual riding.
More avid cyclists may want to consider a more durable pedal made of aluminum alloys. For those interested in maximum strength combined with minimum weight, you can always pay more for higher end bicycle pedals made of carbon or titanium.
Did you know...?
Did you know that there are hybrid bicycle pedals which combine the conventional flat pedal and clipless bike pedal designs?
These pedals have a clipless design on one side to help cyclists achieve a powerful and efficient pedal stroke during sporting events.
On the other side, the pedals are completely flat, meaning that cyclists can use the pedals without cleated bike shoes. In short, you get the freedom of conventional pedals with the sporting advantages of clipless ones in one pair of pedals!
Road Bicycle Pedals
Road racing bicycles are designed with one goal in mind - speed. In this light, it will not come as a surprise that designers of road bike pedals have always looked for ways to generate more power.
Pedals with toe clips and clipless pedals are designed to do just that. Unlike platform pedals that are great for versatility but unable to generate power on the upstroke, these pedals can do the job.
Road Bike Pedals with Toe Clips[ back to menu ]
Designers decided to add toe clips to flat pedals to help generate more power on the upstroke. These clips, or cages, are usually constructed of leather, nylon, metal, or a combination of these materials. These pedals not only succeeded in helping the rider to generate more power, but also to keep the rider's shoes on the pedals. Just note that toe clips do present more of a challenge getting into and out of, in comparison to platform pedals.
Bicycle Pedals with Toe Clips on eBay
Clipless Road Bike Pedals[ back to menu ]
Although these pedals take a little bit to get used to, the benefits are great. Once you feel comfortable clipping into and out of these pedals, you will enjoy increased performance and that magical feeling of oneness with your bicycle. There are a few disadvantages to these pedals that you need to consider before dashing to the bike store to purchase a pair:
- The cost - The cost of clipless pedals is considerable more than a simple pair of plastic flats.
- Safety - Before one becomes completely used to these pedals, there is the danger of not being able to get out of these pedals in time when coming to a stop. Read this book to learn more about using clipless bike pedals.
- Special shoes - The shoes required for these pedals are not for casual walking. In fact, they are rather awkward to walk around in.
Mountain Bike Pedals
Platform Pedals[ back to menu ]
Platform pedals or "flats" are perfect general-purpose pedals. The wide base ensures solid footing, and the teeth or protruding screws also help to keep the rider's shoes on the pedal. The down side of these teeth is that they have the potential to scratch up your legs.
Bicycle Platform Pedals on eBay
SPD Mountain Bike Pedals[ back to menu ]
SPD stands for Shimano Pedaling Dynamics, however SPD is now a widely used term for any mountain bikes-specific clip less pedals.
SPDs, like clip less road pedals, allow the rider to fully bond with the bike, and enjoy improved power generation on the upstroke. Consequently, they are perfect for racing, or for when extra power generation is desired.
However, these pedals may not be the best choice for circumstances when more mobility and freedom is required - such as on down hill biking, or free riding. If you are not quite sure which kind of pedal will benefit your style of mountain biking the best, perhaps you might consider the combination pedals.
SPD Mountain Bike Pedals on eBay
Combination (Double Sided) Mountain Bike Pedals[ back to menu ]
These bicycle pedals are essentially flats, with an SPD clip embedded in the center. The combination pedal allows the rider to choose whether he or she wants to be clipped in, or have more freedom of movement. Combination pedals are also perfect for commuters who want the option to ride with or without special cycling shoes.
Combination Mountain Bicycle Pedals on eBay
Pedals for Other Bicycle Types
Typically, commuters and hybrid bicycles comes equipped with basic platform pedals - usually the ones without teeth or screws! There are many benefits to using basic platform bicycle pedals on these bikes. they are simple to use, requires no special footwear, and even safer. For example, if you are wearing cycling sandals and going down to the beach for a leisurely ride, you probably not interested in performance pedals.
The commuter who is looking for an extra workout on the way home from work might welcome the addition of , SPDs on his bike, or at least a pair of combination pedals. BMX bikes are almost exclusively equipped with platform pedals. In fact, any kind of bicycle pedals can be used on these bikes. It's all depends on the rider's personal preference.
Getting Used To Clip Less Bicycle Pedals
Being clipped in to a bike is well worth the effort, but it takes getting used to. It would get a good idea to practice in an empty parking lot, or place free from traffic. At first, clipping in might be a minor struggle, but getting out is another matter!
As you approach the point where you want to stop, slow down and start to unclip. If you do this before coming to a complete stop, you have time to resolve any issues that might arise. I have been riding with clip less pedals for fifteen years, and I still unclip before reaching intersections. I do it automatically. If you would like to learn more about using clip less pedals and remaining in complete control throughout the process, you are invited to read this book.
Where to Buy Bicycle Pedals?
If you are interested in buying bicycle pedals you can buy them in one of these trusted online stores: